London’s housing market is seeing a modest improvement according to the latest Rics UK Residential Market Survey.
The report found 28% more chartered surveyors reported an increase in agreed sales in September, which is the fastest growth since the same month in 2013.
The UK as a whole saw the pace of sales growth hit a 16-month high, with the North, East Anglia, and Scotland posting the sharpest rises in activity over the month.
In London 29% more chartered surveyors reported an increase in new buyer enquiries – up from a balance of 14% in August.
Although activity was found to be picking up, there was also a negative trend in new instructions (when an estate agent has just taken a property onto their books) as buyers continued to struggle to find the right property due to a lack of housing available and were put off by the uncertain economic climate.
As a result of this ever familiar demand-supply imbalance, prices continued to rise firmly in the capital – with 26% more surveyors noting an increase over the last three months and a net balance of 25% more expecting a rise over the next three months.
In the lettings market demand was also high, with Rics members predicting that over the next 12 months, rents would rise in London by 2.7%.
Rics chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said: “Activity is now picking up, which is encouraging, but unless the stock being sold is replenished there is a limit to how sustainable this modest improvement in market turnover will prove to be.
“And, unfortunately, the indications are we are locked in a cycle where the lack of available properties on agents’ books is itself deterring some potential vendors from thinking about putting their own property on the market.
“Against this backdrop, it is hard not to see prices continuing to move higher over the coming months and into the early part of 2016, notwithstanding the present concerns regarding the affordability of housing in some areas of the UK that are being highlighted by respondents.”